Russian authorities are responsible for the safety and health of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said in a statement marking the second anniversary of the politician’s prison sentence.
Borrell said reports of repeated ill-treatment, physical and psychological torture by Russian prison authorities against Navalny were deeply disturbing. He called the Russian authorities to account.
Navalny, he noted, “courageously continues to oppose the Russian authorities’ suppression of freedom of speech and independent media.” According to him, “Russia’s unjustified, unprovoked and illegal war against Ukraine” only intensified “internal repression and systematic persecution of the most ardent critics of the Kremlin and civil society in general.”
Navalny returned from Berlin (where he was treated after departure) to Russia on January 17 last year, he was detained right at the airport. On February 2, the court replaced him with a suspended sentence for a real term in the Yves Rocher case, then the politician was tried in the case of libel against a veteran (sentenced to a fine) and in the case of fraud and insulting a judge (sentenced to nine years in prison).
In the summer of 2022, he was transferred from a general regime colony in Pokrov to a strict regime colony in Melekhovo in the Vladimir region. There, Navalny created a trade union of prisoners and employees of the colonies. After that, as the politician said, he was summoned daily to the disciplinary commission, handed over a “warning about an impending crime,” and then sent to the ShIZO. He was sent there 11 times. In the ShIZO there is only a bunk, a toilet and a washbasin. It is forbidden to sit or lie on the bunks, the guards fold them and attach them to the wall.
On February 1, it became known that Navalny was being transferred to a cell-type room for the maximum possible period of six months. “Dating is prohibited there. That is, more than a year without dating. Even maniacs and serial killers who are on a life sentence have the right to a date, but I don’t,” the post says on behalf of the politician. His lawyer Vadim Kobzev writes about Navalny’s poor health – due to constant infection with airborne infections, he was incorrectly treated with “huge doses” of antibiotics contraindicated in this case. After that, the politician began to feel pain in the stomach, he lost seven kilograms of weight.
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